Archive for February, 2014

Much More Reasonable

batteriesMy clock says it’s 1:17, I’m not sure if that is am or pm.

At least it’s right twice a day.

I must get a new battery.

The trouble is you can’t buy just one, they come in pairs or fours. By the time you need the next, you’ve forgotten where you put them.

Any way, it is about 4pm, a much more reasonable hour to produce a coherent post.

I have class at 5:30, so I have a comfortable hour before the mad panic to look like a teacher and walk off to class.

The sun is out, it is pleasantly cool, and it has rained a little during the course of the day.

Cooking again now that the weather is more pleasant. Lunch was an inch thick rump steak with all the fat, cooked to perfection, burnt brown on the outside bloody red in the middle with the fat cooked through. I do spoil myself; one of the few pleasures I still have.

Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop

Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop

I learned about ‘sockpuppets’ in a post the other day.

I was always under the impression that a sock puppet was like Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop; apparently wrong again.

“A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception.” Wikipedia

These are used for making comments, when one’s identity is banned, I believe.

See, you live and learn every day; even at my age.

The new stadium in Curitiba has been given a ninth hour reprieve and will host four games of the FIFA World Cup.

But not all Brazilians are in favour of the cup. It is costing the country billions in new/refurbished stadiums and infrastructure. Billions that could provide ordinary Brazilians a decent education and health.

Yesterday on Copacabana beach:

Copacabana Beach

“We need schools, hospitals and public security as high a quality as FIFA’s World Cup Stadiums”

Tells its own story.

The sad part of this is that some of these stadiums will never be used again at capacity. Some will fall into disrepair because local bodies cannot maintain the upkeep. The World Cup venues are, in the main, white elephants.

My view is if FIFA demand high quality venues, the FIFA pays for them, end of subject.

That time has arrived.


A Day Wasted

NOT that kind of wasted

NOT that kind of wasted

Yes, a whole day wasted.

I’ve got better things to do with my life than get that ‘wasted’.

This morning started out as a pretty normal Tuesday. It was cool because we had more rain overnight, and the odd shower persisted into daylight hours. I slept well.

Blogging happily along, I got a phone call from my bossette to meet her at the factory and she would give me my pay; already more than a week late.

Okay, there goes my nap.

I get to the factory and have to wait about an hour, finally got paid and headed off to the supermarket. That killed off three hours of the day. Back home, a bout of blogging and I felt the urge for a nap about 3pm…

That was it. I finally woke when my neighbour parked his car in the garage at 8pm. I had ‘napped’ for five hours. Totally disorientated, when I heard the car, I figured he was leaving in the morning, then I saw the clock.

Now, that I am awake, I’ll probably be wide awake for a good part of the night wondering what to do.

Yes, a day wasted, totally wasted.

We’ll probably get more rain overnight. It’s good because the praça is already returning to green.


It Came!

Yesterday cooking lunch, I went outside to cut some parsley, and there was a fine mist. I looked to the sky, was this the rain we were promised?


The barrier between the linesman and the goal was published in O Globo as a joke, that barrier wasn’t there. But it was a goal.

After the football, I came home from the botequim, cool, but still no sign of rain. Flamengo won against Vasco 2-1, but the game was marred by terrible referee and linesman decisions, one which robbed Vasco of their first goal. Everybody in the stadium knew, but the ref wouldn’t allow it; even the linesman who was right on top of the goal ‘didn’t see it’.

All the officials at the game need to be recycled.

The Blushing Agave (yesterday’s post) was a success, even the second try with Cherry Brandy was better than the first.

At 7:45, the rain started and finished in ten minutes. The just after 8:00 it started in earnest, and rained heavily throughout the night. We got our rain.

Today has been cool and partly cloudy with the sun shining through, we are expecting more rain tonight.

suco-de-goiabaI had my first home-grown suco de goiaba (guava juice) last night.

Three guava were ripe enough to make a glass of juice.

More guava coming on.

It’s always such a thrill to consume your own home-grown produce.

tinga_3Back to football, recently one of the Brazilian players suffered racial abuse in Peru.

Every time he got possession of the ball there were monkey noises from the stands.

Now, I am not in favor of this at all, but I wonder if his massive dreadlocks didn’t exacerbate the situation.

Personally, I hate dreadlocks, they are unkempt and look dirty and disgusting and I wonder if they are appropriate for people representing sports and their country. Whatever I think of dreadlocks, wouldn’t prompt me to express it in the form of racism.

My mouse is stuffed. Can’t control the wheel; very frustrating.

10Malhação-Fernanda-Vasconcellos50-500x357Prices in Brazil, particularly in Rio, have become ridiculous. And there have appeared “Surreal” banknotes based on the official Real as a protest.

Surreal, depticing, who else, but Salvador Dali, the master of surrealism.

On the eve of the FIFA World Cup and Confederations Cup, prices have shot up in restaurants, on the beach and all manner of venues. There are sites on the net encouraging people to boycott such places. For example, a picolé (popsicle) on the beach used to be the same price as on the street; now it’s R$1.50 on the street and R$4 on the beach. Even the rental of beach chairs and umbrellas on the beach are ridiculous. Now to take a family to the beach for the day can cost upwards of R$100. People are being encouraged to bring food and drink from home. One report on TV last week showed a restaurant charging R$99 for a shrimp omelette and R$11 for a glass of juice; the omelette had four shrimp, and the fruit for a glass of juice costs about r$1. Pure rip offs. The Carioca are getting greedy.

Is it time for a nap? Oh, come on, it must be.




I have a Hankering

Actually, it would be more correct to use the past tense, I had a hankering.

Because I have hankered.

During the week on The Fervent Shaker I saw a recipe called the Agave Kiss and thought “Yum!” I parked a notion in the rear of my mind, ‘should make that’ and I intended to.

On second reading, I discovered that it required Chambord, a raspberry infused brandy.

I had the tequila, I had the Creme de Cacão, I pondered the Chambord problem, I could use Creme de Cassis (blackcurrants), or perhaps Cherry Brandy. I opted for the former for my first effort.

I assembled the ingredients…


The makings

My recipe went like this: Two healthy splashes of Tequila, One healthy splash of Creme de Cacão, an unhealthy splash of Creme de Cassis, a half squeeze of fresh cream, twice (to make up that I didn’t have ‘double’ cream); added ice cubes and shook vigorously.

The result was this…


Not as pinky as the image on Fervent

Not as pinky, but palatable.

The result is that I am quietly sipping the product on my deranged mind as I type. The keys are getting harder to find.

My keyboard looks like this

My keyboard is beginning to look like this

And I am only on my third glass…

I have decided to call it ‘The Blushing Agave’.

The story will not end here. It’s Sunday, might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. I am going to repeat the experiment using Cherry Brandy.

Any further reports will be left for tomorrow, when I discover where I left the keyboard.

I hope to be able to focus in a couple of hours, at least sufficiently to see Flamengo’s football (soccer) game at 4pm.

Meanwhile… Yum! Here’s to Sunday!


It Didn’t

At least not yet.

Woke this morning to a pleasantly cool light grey overcast. But now in the late afternoon, there are still clouds around, but no sign of rain.

Rain is forecast for tomorrow.

OvomaltineI love comfort foods. I have several, but few are available here in Brazil. One that is is Ovolmaltine, which is pretty much the same as the Ovaltine we had in New Zealand.

It came in 400gm packets, and was more expensive that other chocolate drinks, but what the heck, it’s a comfort food, right?

The price was always around R$4 – 5.00, depending on where you went.

Last time I went to buy it, wow, ‘an all new’ pack; squatter and squarer. The price had gone up too; now it was nearly R$7.

But I’d been shafted – ripped off!

The all new, squatter squarer pack was also lighter. Only 300gms.

The bastards gave us a new pack, with 25% less and still put the price up!

But… it’s comfort food, and it’s got flocos crocantes (crunchy little flakes).

Yes, I bought another pack today.

It’s comfort food.

Yes, I know and I’m a weak bastard!

It’s beer o’clock…


It could happen today

Weatherwise, it could happen today. There were clouds in the sky at 8am and the day started distinctly cooler, although has since heated up, but not to yesterday’s level.

The clouds have remained a little.

Last night the forecast gave us hope, predicting rain for Sunday and lower temps. We so need this.

The weekend has started, five days of R & R, well it will be the first R, but the second R remains in doubt, my pay still hasn’t been paid, but I am hopeful that my neighbour will pay me the three past rentals for my garage tonight, he promised last night.

Representative imgage. If they served me beer with that head, I'd have a coronary!

Representative imgage. If they served me beer with that head, I’d have a coronary!

I still haven’t got to the supermarket, too hot; so it looks like my lunch will be a repeat of yesterday’s cheeseboard and beer. I did go out for pizza and beer last night after class, so I am not starving. I won’t fade away just yet… there’s too much of me.

Something is rumbling under the planet. Another volcano has erupted, this time on the island of Java, the most populous, in Indonesia.

The east coast of USA is getting a double dose of extreme cold, and Britain is suffering more flooding. The extremes of cold in the north, and our opposite extremes in the south are making for dismal reading in the news.

At the end of March we are heading into spring in the north and autumn in the southern hemisphere. It all makes me wonder what we’ll be in for when winter arrives here.

Hora de verão (daylight savings, summer time) finish for us tomorrow night. The world can return to normal. I hate this chopping and changing. Just leave the time alone. One thing is that it will be cooler for me to walk to work an hour later, I will have more shade.

I am still avoiding any news of the Winter Olympics. Hooray for me!

Venezuelans are waking up a little. People are tired of rising inflation and basic needs product shortages. Chavez little social experiment is finally coming unstuck, and Maduro can’t fix it; blaming all the countries problems on the opposition instead of looking in the mirror. There’s going to be a very bloody revolution there shortly.

The spectre of the BP oil spill continues. Now we are talking Atlantic and yellow tuna, whose breeding grounds are the Gulf of Mexico, are having heart problems caused by the chemicals used to control the oil spill. Man just can’t leave well enough alone, we are hell bent on destroying the planet.

Soon, I should get ready to go and pay the rent. While I’m out, I will consider dinner somewhere air conditioned with beer.


I Survived Humpday

hump-daymorpheusYes, yesterday was Humpday.

Boy that was some damned hump!

It’s downhill all the way to the weekend, which for me starts tomorrow as I have no classes, so my weekend is Friday until Tuesday. My Students leave tomorrow for the USA for a week of meetings.

Have you ever looked at the calendar? Have you ever noticed it goes Monday, Tuesday, then WTF!

I have the jitters. I am worried that my PC is going to implode again whenever I touch it. It’s just an awful nagging feeling that I have after the last two days.

Yesterday, I managed to wind up my old Linux drive. I had tried a few months back and it wouldn’t load but this time after some grunting and forced checking it loaded, so I saved all my data and I now have an empty drive with 500gb.

I am going to format it and reload XP. So the next time my PC goes PHUT, I can just switch drives and start all over again.

The hot is hotter than yesterday already. Judging by the heat outside I guess we’re in for a 45ºC day. Now people, that’s hot, it’s beerworthy. I am not looking forward to having to go to work this afternoon.

postitValentine’s Day is almost upon us.

Waste of time and money in my book, but for those of you guys who are lucky enough to score tomorrow, I urge you, don’t forget your Postit Notes.

They can save a lot of problems.

Damn! I’ve just blogged through the 1pm news again. I hate that. News is a bit like coffee, without the daily dose the day just doesn’t seem to gel.

While I didn’t have the net yesterday, I devoted my time to other pursuits, like CorelDraw and made some things for my other blogs. This is my favourite…


…and that is so true!

I have two bottles of beer in the fridge. One is Brahma Export, the other is Bohemia… I’m going to have a beer cocktail with lunch.

Perrier200mlGlDid you hear about the latest Irish cocktail?

  • One part Perrier
  • One part water
  • Garnished with ice…

Yeah, I know, it’s lame.

The rabbit died.

China’s Jade Rabbit died, but they have hopes of revival, after a weak signal was detected.

Quite frankly, I’m not surprised, if the quality of their battery rechargers is anything to go by. The last few years I have bought several, some never worked, some worked for the initial charge and never again. And you only have to look at the quality of their PC hard drives if you want further testimony, how many crashes have you had, how many bad blocks, how much lost personal data? And, they really expected to put something on the Moon that worked.

Must toddle off and think about lunch. Not much in the fridge, an egg, some Brie cheese, some pickled beetroot and some olives. I guess it’s a cheeseboard with and egg on the side, and a beer cocktail. You have to make do.





I am Tired and Bitchy

Broken XP

Broken XP

Last night, I got home after a double class and a BBQ restaurant dinner.

So far, so good.

Then about nine o’clock Windows crashed.

I have just spent 17 hours fighting tooth and nail with my PC. I got the PC up and running again in relatively short order, but connect to the net… not on your life.

I did a CHKDSK, 3½ hours; I did a System Restore, I did a System Unrestore, I redid the System Restore; all to no avail.

I finally went to bed at 3am, up again at 5am. Still no luck.

No bloody credits when you need them most

No bloody credits when you need them most

8am and I couldn’t call the service provider because my lovely old Motorola cellphone didn’t have credits; I finally got credits and rang. “Be there after lunch!” Was the promise.

At two o’clock, beaten by the heat, I went for a quick beer o’clock, the service provider arrived at 3pm, wonderful lunch hour.

He was beaten; couldn’t figure out the problem. He left after we agreed that I should re-install XP.

Oh bugger! Back to the botequim, to finish my beer. Come on, one must have priorities!

*Wondering, is his really a Monday???*

Back home. In a huff, I switched the transformer off to reset before I did my back up prior to the re-install. Started the back up and noticed that lights were blinking in the right places. Opened FireFox, and here I am.

Still don’t know what the problem was, but it’s working and I am NOT about to try and fix it!

So I have done no blogging today and now I am starting back to front. Normally this is the last blog, but today it is the first. I need to work out my frustration.

My student cancelled, so I am free to blog.



Pesky ants

Pesky ants

Yes, this morning a lot of my second coffee was wasted as I spooned ants out of the cup. I don’t recall seeing any in my first cup, but I was pretty groggy and maybe I drank them… or maybe I was so desperate for liquid sanity that I just ignored them.

They say we eat on an average of 500 grams (about 1lb) of extraneous matter every year; that’s a lot of ants…

The clouds are there again, taunting me.

I have classes today, I hope those clouds hang around long enough for me to walk in the shade. It’s so hot with the sun blasting down on my back most of the way. I even wear a white shirt to try and ease the heat.

WordPress has changed the buttons. Don’t like it. Why must they make these tweeks when they were working just fine as they were. I believe one shouldn’t fix something if it isn’t broken; if it’s working, leave the damn thing alone!


Bloody Oreos

Disaster! On TV last night, an ad for Oreos. Oreos have arrived in Brazil.

We don’t need the bloody things. Brazilians have enough biscuits to make them one of the most morbidly obese countries on the planet.

Why do Americans need to foist their rubbish on everybody?

You can bet that every kid and fatso here will be craving for this American crap.

Sorry to read that Shirley Temple has died. Personally, I never liked her, pretentious little twerp.  Whether she ‘grew up’ I don’t know, but I artfully avoided all her movies after the first one.

On BBC News, “the new Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen says the central bank will continue to cut its stimulus measures as long as the US economic recovery continues.” It never started! Stop feeding Americans bullshit! Further cuts are sure to affect the global finances. The QE should never have started.

Amusing to read that Barcaly’s Bank has raised bonuses to £2,3bn after declaring losses of more than that. Bonuses are to reward performance; except in the banking industry where they reward failure. Thw world is up to its neck in rubbish.

What’s that sucking sound? It’s all the public money and private wealth being swallowed up by London…

Must go and have a refreshing shower.


Teasing Me Again

Just a tease

Just a tease

While we have the heat wave, I have looked forward to some refreshing rain.

The last four days around 2pm we get clouds, some of them are even grey, but they are just teasing us, they go away again.

We were warned last week that the temps would remain high until the 15th. Last night they did a report on TV that said maybe until the end of the month, like the heat wave in 2001; or even later. The this afternoon the weather reporter said the 20th. Quite frankly, I don’t think they know. Meanwhile we suffer; this is the fourth day of 43ºC.

I hope you enjoyed my ‘quickie’ post at 2am this morning. Later when I got up at gentleman’s hours, I read some more of my previous posts. There are a lot there worth reading.

YTcopyrightI even opened my music page and had a trip down memory lane, but I was disappointed to find that many video clips had disappeared for copyright reasons and stuff.

I will have to do a clean up there, and that is going to be a real bitch of a job.

Monday things: I opened a new bag of sugar this morning for my coffee; it was bloody full of ants. So now I have to scoop out ants from my coffee before drinking.

sukhoi_su_27I once had a Warrant Officer who after going to Farnborough Air Show many years ago said to me “That communism maybe a flawed social doctrine, but they build shit hot planes.” He was of course referring to the Russians and an aerial display of the latest Sukhoi fighter of the time.

I must admit, that it looks like one awesome plane.

MdsarchesVietnam is on the way downhill, McDonald’s opened their first outlet (I refuse to call them restaurants) in Hanoi last week. The nasty creep of capitalism. Of course the franchise is owned by the prime minister’s son-in-law, now why doesn’t that surprise me?

The Japanese have upset New Zealand. One of their whaling fleet entered EEZ waters and refused to leave. It has caused a bit of a political row. The Japanese whaling is against international law; they say it is for research. Bollocks! You don’t need 1,ooo whales each year for research, it’s commercial whaling in another guise. The Japanese are defying an international moratorium on whaling, and they should be brought to heel.

Damn, it’s so hot, the only sensible thing to do, is have another nap to escape the heat.


Remember this:

“GOD created the world, everything else is made in China.”


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